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The bible. part two. the history and reliability of the bible. joseph rhodes. poetry baptist church.
 

The bible. part two. the history and reliability of the bible. joseph rhodes. poetry baptist church.

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A description and apologetic defense of the canonicity, inspiration, reliability, and authority of the God's Word, the Bible. The argument uses history, paleography, and archaeology to make the point.

A description and apologetic defense of the canonicity, inspiration, reliability, and authority of the God's Word, the Bible. The argument uses history, paleography, and archaeology to make the point.

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    The bible. part two. the history and reliability of the bible. joseph rhodes. poetry baptist church. The bible. part two. the history and reliability of the bible. joseph rhodes. poetry baptist church. Presentation Transcript

    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. The Reliability of the New Testament & Biblical Transmission Until Today.
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. ‚ The Bible reached its present stature through gradual and almost imperceptible stages of growth. According to the Bible, at first God’s communication with humankind was oral; God spoke directly to such men as Adam and Noah and Abraham. But the time came when it was necessary for the divine will to be put into more permanent form and that a record of God’s revelations be made for succeeding generations. In other words, it was God’s purpose that by means of a written record he would be revealed to all ages and tongues as Creator and Redeemer. ‛* *Neil R. Lightfoot, How We Got the Bible. (Third Revised Edition; Grand Rapids, MI.: Baker Books, 2003), p. 23.
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2.
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2.
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2.
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    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. I. Types of New Testament Greek Manuscripts. There are two main types of early Greek manuscripts of the New Testament : (1) Uncials – written in all capital letters; (2) Minuscules or ‚Cursives‛ – written in small letters. The Uncials are the earliest manuscripts and they were written from the 2nd to the 8th centuries A.D. The Minuscules are the later more Medieval manuscripts from the 9th to the 15th centuries. (Being later, they are less valuable to textual scholars).
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. Papyri 75 a. Luke-John. Bodmer Papyri. Ca. 200 A.D. (Cologny, Switzerland) John 1:1 - 7 from the Greek Codex Alexandrinus. 5th Century (The British Museum)
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. Greek Manuscript No. 7 Greek Manuscript No. 7. Ca. 10th or early 11th century. A page from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Photograph from copy at the Magdalen College Library, Oxford, U.K.
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. The manuscript here reproduced was written in the year 1022, and is now in the Ambrosian Library at Milan. It contains the Gospels only, and its official designation in the list of New Testament MSS. is Evan. 348. The page of which the upper half is here produced, on the same scale as the original, contains the beginning of St. Luke's Gospel. Its text is of no special interest; it is simply an average specimen of the Greek Gospels current in the Middle Ages, in the beautiful Greek writing of the eleventh century. Description & picture from Sir Frederick Kenyon, Our Bible & the Ancient Manuscripts (London, 1895 - 4th Ed. 1939), Page 153 & Plate XXI. (Page-size: 20 x 15cm.)
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. Over 5,700 partial or complete manuscript portions of the N.T. in Greek alone Over 10,000 Latin Vulgate manuscripts (early 5th century) Over 9,300 other early manuscripts Total: Nearly 25,000 early copies of partial or complete New Testament Greek, Coptic, Latin, and Syriac, etc. Manuscripts. II. The Number of New Testament Manuscripts
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. III. Quotations of the New Testament in the Early Church Fathers (from the 1st to 4th Centuries): Dr. Bruce Metzger (Princeton Theological Seminary) has noted the amazing fact that ‚ if all other sources for our knowledge of the text of the New Testament were destroyed, [the patristic quotations] would be sufficient alone for the reconstruction of practically the entire New Testament. ‚1 1The Text of the New Testament (New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968), p. 86.
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. III. Quotations of the New Testament in the Early Church Fathers (from the 1st to 4th Centuries): According to one reliable source there are 36,289 direct quotations from the Greek NT in these patristic sources.2 From this basis more than 99% of the New Testament text could be reconstructed.3 2Unshakable Foundations: Contemporary Answers to Crucial Questions about the Christian Faith (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers, 2000), pp. 269 -276. 3J. McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, (Revised Ed.: San Ber- nardino, CA.: Here’s Life Publishers, 1979), pp. 39-52; and Norman L. Geisler, William Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible (Chicago: Moody Press, 1971), pp. 238, 357-367.
    • IV. Historical Attestation of the Authenticity & Reliability of the New Testament Documents: ‚ There is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good textual attestation as the New Testament. ‚4 4F.F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments (Old Tappan, NJ: RevelI, 1963), p. 78. The late Professor Bruce, world class Evangelical scholar, was the John Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester, U.K. for nearly 40 years. He wrote over fifty books on Biblical history and manuscripts as well as commentaries.
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. IV. Historical Attestation of the Authenticity & Reliability of the New Testament Documents: ‚ The evidence for our New Testament writings is ever so much greater than the evidence for many writings of classical writers, the authenticity of which no one dreams of questioning. And if the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt. ‛5 5The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? (5th Revised Edition; Downer's Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1971), p. 15.
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. T IV. A. Uncial Manuscripts of the New Testament There are about 320 Uncial Manuscripts, and a handful of them are vellum and parchment manuscripts (mostly codices) written before the 5th century A.D. There are also about 330 Greek lectionaries written in the Uncial hand before this time. However, all total there are now counted 2453 Greek Lectionaries written through the sixteenth century.6 6Cf. ‚Biblical Manuscript,‛ from Wikipedia online at http//en. wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblicalmanuscript . Cf. also Neil R. Lightfoot, How We Got the Bible (Third Edition; Grand Rapids, MI.: Baker Books, 2003), pp. 34-36.
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. IV. B. Five Most Important Uncial Manuscripts Manuscript No. Date (Century) Popular Name Manuscript Location A. 01/a IVth Sinaiticus British Library B. 02/A Vth Alexandrinus British Library C. 03/B IVth Vaticanus Vatican Library, (Rome) D. 04 Late IVth/Early Vth Ephraemi Paris (Bib. N.) rescriptis E. 05 Vth Codex Bezae Cambridge U. F. 06 Vth-VIth Claromontanus/D Paris (Bib. N.) G. 07 VIIIth Basiliensis (E) Basel University (Four Gospels) Library
    • CODEX SINAITICUS
    • Codex Alexandrinus
    • CODEX VATICANUS
    • EPHRAEMI RESCRIPTIS
    • Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis
    • CODEX CLAROMONTANUS/D
    • Codex Basiliensis (E)
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. V. Reasons For Believing the Bible (Its Reliability)  It can be trusted because God is trustworthy. (Veracity): (Scripture has veracity. Isaiah 40:8; John 17:17; 2 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 1:13; Colossians 1:5 ; I Thessalonians 2:13; James 1:18; 1 John 4:6, etc. ).  We can actually know what the Bible says (Hermeneutical Clarity) : (John 1:14; 3:21; 8:32; 16:13; Romans 2:2; Ephesians 4:21,25; I Timothy 2:4, II Timothy 2:15, etc.).  We can be confident that our Bible today is faithful to the original manuscripts, despite the minor differences (variants) which exists in ancient copies (Historical Reliability in Transmission of God’s Word ).
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. V. A. Reasons For Believing the Bible (Reliability) Skeptics claim that the Four Gospels were written between thirty to seventy years after Jesus’ death and could therefore not be reliable . . . . Neither oral tradition nor records written one or two generations later can be trusted [?]
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. V. A. Reasons For Believing the Bible (Reliability) Apologetic Response: Excellent historical /archaeological evidence exists to show that the three Synoptic Gospels may have been written about twenty to forty years after Jesus’ time. There is no hint of the death of James at the hands of the Sanhedrin in ca. 62, which is recorded by Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews (20.9.1. 200), nor of the Roman capture of Jerusalem in 70 AD (huge events!). Also, most scholars acknowledge that Luke precedes Acts by at least 6 – 8 years (Cf. Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1ff.) and even liberal scholars will admit that both Matthew or Mark were written first and that Luke knew of their Gospels years before he wrote his own.
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. V. A. Reasons For Believing the Bible (Reliability) ‚ In my opinion, every book of the New Testament was written by a baptised Jew between the forties and eighties of the first century (very probably sometime between about A.D. 50 and 75) ‛ William Albright: ‚Towards a More Conservative View,‛ Christianity Today (18 January 1963), p. 3
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. V. V. A. Reasons For Believing the Bible (Reliability) Mark’s Gospel might have been as late as thirty years after Jesus’ death and resurrection, but it does not have to be that late. Several scholars have used the evidence of references to Jewish surnames and unique references to the actions of the Jerusalem high priesthood and the ruling Sadducees to argue that the Gospel of St. Mark could quite easily predate 50-55 A.D. 7 7See the next slide for documentary research references !
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. V. V. A. Reasons For Believing the Bible (Reliability) References for the previous slide ! 7Cf.John A.T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament (London and Philadelphia: SCM and Westminster Press, 1977); F.F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents : Are They Reliable ? (Sixth Edition; Leicester, U.K. and Grand Rapids, MI: Intervarsity Press, 1981), chs. 2,3,4, pp. 4 – 60; John W. Wenham, Redating Matthew, Mark & Luke (London and Downers Grove, Ill: Intervarsity Press, 1992), pp. 116-182. On the Gospel’s eyewitness value, see Richard Bauckham’s work, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony (Grand Rapids, MI.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2008), pp. 8-9, 20, 252-289. Other sources could be cited.
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. V. A. Reasons For Believing the Bible (Reliability) Since the Gospels accurately represent and make the prima facie claim to be actual eyewitness testimony, we should give heed to what they state rather than the theories of critics over nineteen hundred years later. These records clearly claim to speak of first century events in the life of Jesus Christ and his followers (Matthew 5:1 ff.; 28:19-20; Luke 1:1-4; John 1:14; 19:25-27; 21:20-25, etc.).
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. V. A. Reasons For Believing the Bible (Reliability) But beyond this are the ancient recollections from flesh and blood leaders of the early Christian movement such as Papias of Hierapolis, Polycarp of Smyrna, Irenaeus of Lyons, and others of the first two centuries. They continued in the tradition of Christ’s apostles and noted important historical details about the publication and distribution of the Gospel records in the Roman world.
    • V. A Reasons for Believing the Bible (Reliability)  All the anecdotes of Jesus’ words and deeds recorded in the Gospel of Mark are in fact the testimony of the Apostle Peter in third person form, preserved in the writing by his disciple, John Mark. 8 8Irenaeus, Adversus Haeresus 3.1.2; Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiasticae 2.14.6; 3.39.15; 6.14. 6,7. Cf. also D. A. Carson, Douglas J. Moo, Leon Morris, An Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI.: Zondervan, 1992), pp. 5ff. C. H. Turner, The Gospel According to St. Mark, in A New Commentary on Holy Scripture (London: S.P.C.K., 1928), Part III, p. 48.
    • The Bible: PART 2.  Luke’s Gospel meticulously integrates both oral and written first-hand eyewitnesses and it was written by the Apostle Paul’s friend and personal physician, Dr. Luke.9 9William M. Ramsay, The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book Company, 1959), p. 81; Cf. William F. Ramsay, Luke the Physician, 177-179, 222 as given in F. F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?, pp. 90-91. Finally, see the comments of A. N. Sherwin-White, Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965), pp. 106-189.
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. V. A Reasons for Believing the Bible (Reliability)  The Gospel of Matthew is historically ascribed by the earliest records of the church to a literate Jew, a Roman tax official, who deserted a profitable pro- fession to become a follower of Christ.10 10Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiasticae 3.39.16; C.F.D. Moule, The Birth of the New Testament (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1962), pp. 276-280. Cf. also Mark D. Roberts, Can We Trust the Gospels? : Investigating the Reliability of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (Wheaton, IL.: Crossway Books, Good News Publishers, 2007), Ch. 3, ‚ Did the Evangelists Know Jesus Personally,‛ pp. 39 - 52 ; Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eye-Witness Testimony (Cambridge, U.K. and Grand Rapids, MI.: Cambridge University Press and William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2006), pp. 12ff; 202- 239.
    • The Bible: PART 2. V. A Reasons for Believing the Bible (Reliability)  The Gospel according to John finds its source and in all probability its actual author in the Apostle John, son of Zebedee, i.e., ‚the disciple that Jesus loved.‛11 11Cf. Craig L. Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel: Issues and Commentary (Downers Grove, IL.: Intervarsity Press, 2011); See also Harald Riesenfeld, The Gospel Tradition and Its Beginnings (London, U.K.: A.W. Mowbray and Company, 1961); Birger L. Gerhardsson, Memory and Manuscript: Oral Tradition and Written Transmission in Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity (Uppsala: Gleerup, 1961); Andraes J. Kostenberger, Encountering John: The Gospel in Historical, Literary, and Theological Perspective (Encountering Biblical Studies) (Grand Rapids, MI.: Baker Publishing Company, 1999), esp. pp. 19-46.
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. V. A Reasons for Believing the Bible (Reliability) A Contemporary Skeptical Attack on the NT’s Reliability
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. What Real History Actually Shows & Tells Us . . . !  Consistent oral histories (i.e., testimonies) arose very shortly after the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and spread over the Roman Empire.12 12See the response of Timothy Paul Jones (Southern Baptist Seminary) in Misquoting Truth: A Guide to the Fallacies of Bart Ehrman's "Mis- quoting Jesus“ (Downers Grove, IL.: Intervarsity Press, 2007), Chs. 5 & 6, pp. 79 -106; Cf. also the scintillating article by Dr. Daniel Wallace (Dallas Theological Seminary), ‚ The Gospel according to Bart,‛ at https://bible.org/article/gospel-according-bart ; and finally see Dr. Ben Witherington ‘s critique of Bart Ehrman’s errors: ‚ Forged – Bart Ehr- man’s New Salvo – The Introduction,‛ in The Bible and Culture blog at bibleandculture/2011/03/30/forged-bart-ehrmans-new-salvo-the- introduction-2/ (March 30, 2011).
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. What Real History Actually Shows & Tells Us . . . ! I need to say from the outset and on first glance that there appears to be a rather large lacunae in the argument of this book, namely the failure to do this study after having studied in depth ancient scribal practices and the roles of scribes in producing ancient documents in ancient Israel. For example, I see no interaction whatsoever in this book with the landmark study of Karel Van der Toorn, Scribal Culture and the Making of the Hebrew Bible, in which it is demonstrated at length that scribes played a huge role in collecting, editing, and producing ancient documents, and that it was indeed a regular practice to name a scroll after either the originator of the tradition, or the first or a major contributor to the tradition, not after the scribe who actually produced the document, often decades or centuries after the tradition had first been formed. - Dr. Ben Witherington III (Asbury Seminary)
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. A Biblical Example of Accurate Oral Transmission: I Corinthians 15:3-7: Here the Apostle Paul clearly relates the oral tradition received about Jesus from the other apostles (Galatians 1:18, ca. 35 A.D.). We know this because he used the forms of two quite special Greek words which summarize oral tradition: paradidomi (Gk., παραδίδωμι)and paralambano (Gk., παραλαμβάνω). Any ancient readers, Jews included, would know that Paul was citing oral tradition.13 13See the incisive works of Craig Evans, Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels (Downers Grove ,IL.: Intervarsity Press, 2008) and J.Ed. Komoszewski, M. James Sawyer, and Daniel B. Wallace, Reinventing Jesus : What The Da Vinci Code and Other Novel Speculations Don’t Tell You (Grand Rapids, MI.: Kregel Publications, 2007), Chs. 7 & 8, pp. 83 – 117.
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2.  Another Skeptical Attack: Since most all of Jesus’ early followers were lower class or poor and illiterate, they could not have composed the Gospel accounts. This re- quired anonymous theologians and literate writers many decades later . . . .14 14Bart Ehrman, Jesus, Apocalpytic Prophet of the New Millennium (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp. 44-45. But see the answer of Professor Alan Millard (Liverpool University) in his archaeologically based study, Reading and Writing in the Time of Jesus (Sheffield, U.K.: Sheffield University Academic Press, 2000), pp. 28-29, 170,188-192.
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. Dr. Alan Millard, Rankin Professor of Ancient Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Honorary Senior Fellow (Ancient Near East), at the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the University of Liverpool. ‚ If Paul wrote letters less than twenty years after after the Crucifixion, giving advice and expecting his audience to know its basis, were others already circulating memoirs about their Teacher ? If the apostolic council could send the letter of Acts 15, then there enters the possibility that the ‘apostles and elders’ in Jerusalem could have circulated Jesus’ words and deeds. . . There would be thus no ideological obstacle to their compil- ing records to the life of Jesus . . . .‛
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2.
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2.  Certainly, Matthew could hardly have been illiterate, since he was a paid Roman tax collector in Galilee , who would have used the common pinakes of time and who were required to write detailed reports and receipts (Matthew 9:9; 10:3; has unique quote: 11:25-30).  Paul’s companion, Dr. Luke, was not only an educated physician (probably a Greek or Syrian) . We know from both ancient Greek and Latin sources that physicians wrote prescriptions, instructions for treatment, and were often required to write reports for Roman law-enforcement officials. While Luke is directly described in the New Testament only three times, he played a significant role in the life of the Apostle Paul on his journeys (Colossians 4:14; Philemon 1:24; and 2 Timothy 4:11). Yet, because of Luke 1:1-4 , Acts 1:1ff., and the ‚we‛ passages in Acts (16:10-17; 20:5-21:18), the early church writers from the dawning 2nd century have insisted Luke was the highly skilled author and historian who wrote two volumes: i.e., the 3rd Gospel and the Apostolic history (Cf. Eusebius, H.E. 3.4.7).
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. Sir William M. Ramsey, Archaeologist and New Testament Scholar (1851 -1939). Professor of Classical Art and Architecture at Oxford, he was appointed Regius Professor of Humanity (the Latin Professorship) at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. ‚ Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy... this author should be placed along with the very greatest historians ‛ 15 15The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1915), p. 222.
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2.  This leaves only John Mark and John the Apostle. We know, of course, that Mark was the disciple and interpreter of Peter and that his Gospel exactly reflects Peter’s testimony to Christ. The 1st to 2nd century Christian father Papias is quoted by Eusebius in his later Ecclesiastical History as having carefully written down all of Peter’s own recollections of Christ, ‚though not in order‛ (Cf. Ecclesiastical History 2.15.1-2; 3.39.14-15). The internal evidence of the book both in grammar and its realistic portrayal of Peter vividly reflect Peter’s character that we see in both other Gospels and the language of Mark reads much like Peter’s speeches in Acts (Cf. Acts 2 and 10:34-43). If Luke’s Gospel indeed depended upon the earlier publication of Mark, this would easily place Mark in the early to mid–fifties. Another tradition mentioned by Eusebius is that Mark did in fact already publish this Gospel in Rome with Peter’s approval long before the latter’s martyr – dom in Rome ca. 67-68 A.D. (Ecclesiastical History 2.14.6–2.15.1; and 6.14. 6-7 citing Clement of Alexandria’s statements ca. 180-5 A.D.). So, like Paul (Romans 16:22; Galatians 6:1; Philemon 1:19) Mark, an urban Judean, may have known both Aramaic and Greek. Yet, like Paul and Peter himself (1 Peter 5:12), he could have readily employed a professional scribe or an amanuesis to actually pen the message he had to deliver.
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. Skeptics also claim the Old Testament is so full of textual problems that we cannot really consider it inspiredand sometimes they cite the Dead Sea Scrolls to prove it . ‚ The [Old Testament] is filled with lots of textual problems - as we have come to realize, for example, with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.‛16 16Bart Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2007), p. 254
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. ‚ For almost 1,500 years, the New Testament manuscripts were copied by hand––and mistakes and intentional changes abound in the competing manuscript versions. Religious and biblical scholar Bart Ehrman makes the provocative case that many of our widely held beliefs concerning the divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, and the divine origins of the Bible itself are the results of both intentional and accidental alter-ations by scribes. ‛ From a description of the Ehrman’s book .
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. Apologetic Response: This view is what I like to call: Stupid ! Wrong ! What History and Paleography Actually Tell Us !  The Dead Sea Scrolls actually have established over 95 % of the tradition Massoretic Hebrew Old Testament text !  The Dead Sea Scrolls in fact are the most important historical demonstration of how precisely and painstakingly the Old Testament was copied from the time of Ezra (5th century B.C.) until the time of Christ.  From about 400 A.D. until about 900 A.D. Jewish scribes known as Masoretes copied ancient Hebrew manuscripts from earlier times following strict and reverent guidelines for preserving Holy Writ.
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. What History and Paleography Actually Tell Us  The Masoretes endeavored to maintain perfect accuracy in their texts and were virtually successful !  Until the recent discovery of the Scrolls (1947), the Masoretic texts (e.g., the Codices Leningradensus and Aleppo Ben-Asher Texts)  For example, the careful comparison of the famous Isaiah Scroll (1Qlsa, ca. 150-125 B.C.) reveal that for over a thousand years the sixty-six chapters of the prophet Isaiah were copied with almost perfect accuracy !!!! (See the Next Slide)
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. What History and Paleography Actually Tell Us Dr. Peter Flint (Ph.D., Notre Dame), is Professor of Religious Studies and Co- Director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at Trinity Western University in British Columbia. “The Scrolls demonstrate that your Bible is 99% accurate. We are confirming the Word of God and getting to that 1% of readings that are difficult.” 17 17‛The Great Isaiah Scroll and the Original Bible: An Interview with Dr. Peter Flint,‛ in Bible Study Magazine (Nov–Dec 2008): pp. 19–22. 2008).
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. Dr. Gleason L. Archer, Jr. (1916-2004),B.A., M.A., Ph.D., B.D., L.L.B., was a noted conservative biblical scholar, theologian, educator, and author . ‚What confirmation do we have that God has in fact maintained that kind of control over the preservation of the manuscripts? The answer is in the critical apparatus appearing in the scholarly editions of the Old and New Testament. Many hundreds of ancient manuscripts have been carefully consulted in drawing up this apparatus, both in the original languages themselves and in the languages into which they were translated (from the third century B.C. to the fifth century AD.). Yet a meticulous examination of all the variant readings appearing in the apparatus shows that no decently attested variant would make the slightest difference in the doctrinal teaching of Scripture if it were substituted for the wording of the approved text.‛
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. The Insignificance of Most Textual Variants That Skeptics Fret About !!! All total from the nearly 5,800 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament there are more than two million pages of Biblical text, about which the critics have observed about 400,000 variants of various kinds, mostly in spelling and word order. But all this really means is that there only are about 68-70 words out of approximately 138,000 words that have any differences at all. This is only about 0.005 %. Yet this is misleading, because when you factor out all the slight variations in word order and spelling, there exists more than 99% agreement in all manuscripts. Out of that remaining 0.005 % only a few verses exists over which there is any serious doctrinal division (less than 1/10 of 1 %). And none of the remaining so - called ‚errors‛ (i.e., variations) affect any fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith in any way !!!!!!!
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. Evidence of the Time Gap: Original Autographs to Copies of Manuscripts
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. What Was the Real and Original Standard of Canonicity for the New Testament Books ? For the earliest Christians, all the standards of orthodoxy, apostolicity, and antiquity (i.e., being right, being of the original representatives of Christ, and being from the one authentic first mission) was this : Were you part of or a link to the eyewitnesses who had seen the risen Lord Jesus Christ ? (Proof: See Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:21-26; 15:6-16:5; 1 Corinthians 4-5; 9:1-12; Galatians 1:1-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26-27; *2 Peter 1:16; 1 John 1:1-4.)
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. Several factors contributed to the formation of the NT canon: The OT Canon was a pattern that the church followed for its sacred writings. The authoritative character of the writings; these words came from Jesus and His apostles. The use of Christian writings in public services of the church. Appeal to these writings in doctrinal controversies. The Canon of Marcion; a Gnostic canon of only 11 NT books was published in 140 A.D., it forced Christians to draw up their own list of authoritative works. Persecution by the Roman Empire, causing Christians to give a close look at what was inspired. VI. The Formation of the New Testament Canon ( A Brief , Simple Outline )
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. Recognition of the New Testament Canon By the Early Church:  A.D. 70 – 170: Post – Apostolic Period: A period of circulation and gradual collection. In the beginning, books were still circulating individually; by the end, the principle of a fixed canon was established and included the four gospels and the epistles of Paul.  A.D. 170 – 303: – a period of separation of the canonical books from the mass of other ecclesiastical literature. By the end of this period the apocryphal books had all but disappeared from the canon.  A.D. 303 – 397: – a period of formal ratification of current beliefs about the canon by early councils of the church. In A.D. 367 Athanasius of Alexandria published a list of 27 books which are the same ones we have today. VI. The Formation of the New Testament Canon ( A Brief , Simple Outline )
    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. VII. The Summary of the Matter. ‚ The number of manuscripts of the New Testament, of early translations from it, and of quotations from it in the oldest writers of the church is so large that it is practically certain that the true reading of every doubtful passage is preserved in one or other these ancient authorities. This can be said of no other ancient book in the world.‛ Sir Frederick Kenyon, Past Curator of the British Museum and world– renown authority on Biblical manuscripts. This citation comes from Our Bible and Ancient Manuscripts. Revised by A.W. Adams (New York: Harper and Brothers Publishers, 1958), p. 55.
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    • THE BIBLE: PART 2. The Anvil of God's Word ‚Last eve I paused beside the blacksmith’s door, And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime; Then looking in, I saw upon the floor, Old hammers, worn with beating years of time. ‚‘How many anvils have you had,’ said I, ‘To wear and batter all these hammers so?’ ‘Just one,’ said he, and then with twinkling eye, ‘The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.’ ‚And so, I thought, the Anvil of God’s Word For ages skeptic blows have beat upon; Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard, The Anvil is unharmed, the hammers gone.‛ —Attributed to John Clifford But the word of the Lord endureth for ever... 1 Peter 1:25